The Moroccan tagine is a stew named after the conical earthenware vessel in which it’s traditionally prepared. There are traditionally four main categories of tagine, regardless of the main ingredient: mqualli, with olive oil, turmeric, ginger and saffron; mhammer, with butter, paprika and cumin; mchermel, with herby, garlicky chermoula; and one with tomato, cumin and paprika. Really anything goes, the tagine is more of a concept than a strict recipe.
This much-loved Moroccan stew is an adaptable dish, here made rich and sticky with fruit and spice to complement our tender, slow-cooked, grass fed beef.
500g Grass Fed Braising Beef
2tbsp Tagine Paste
200ml Pure Beef Stock
2 tbsp Olive Oil
2 small Preserved Lemons, flesh removed and skin finely chopped
1 onion, peeled and finely diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
¼ tsp saffron threads, steeped in 50ml boiling water
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
75g shelled pistachios, chopped
30g coriander, chopped
In a bowl, mix the beef with the Tagine Paste, season with salt and pepper then set aside to marinate for an hour, or as long as possible – overnight if you have time.
Drizzle the olive oil in the pan and fry the onions in a frying pan on a medium heat until golden, add the garlic and fry for a further 2 minutes. Remove the onions and garlic from the pan and fry the stewing beef for a few minutes, just until brown all over.
Turn the heat down to the lowest possible setting. In a casserole dish with a lid (or tagine, if you have one) and put the sliced onions and garlic in the bottom. Sit the beef on top of the onion mix. Add the saffron (with water), beef stock, cinnamon and ground ginger to the pan. Bring to the boil and then turn down to a very gentle simmer for 1.5 hours.
After 1.5 hours, add the chopped preserved lemon skin and prunes to the pan and stir to ensure they are covered with the liquid as much as possible. Simmer for a further ½ an hour.
Serve the beef tagine over a bed of couscous, sprinkling some of the chopped coriander and flaked pistachios over the top of each portion.